When you read the Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor’s spec sheet, it seems to check all the right boxes. It’s got an HD screen, quad core processor, and 3G connectivity. However, there are a few things that keep it from being the perfect on-the-go companion. Find out why in my full Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor Review.
What’s in the Box?
The Superion Endeavor comes with all the basics, plus one surprising little accessory:
- micro USB transfer cable
- headset with in-line mic
- quick start guide
- Cherry Mobile USB cable accessory
Yes, you read that right. There’s an extra USB cable accessory. It’s actually just a transfer cable, but it’s really so much more than that. Take a look!
At first, you have no idea what it is.
Then you pull on the flat loop and you’ll find that it’s a short micro USB cable! Pretty useful if you don’t want a tangled mess of cables in your bag!
Build Quality and Design
The design of the Superion Endeavor is reminiscent of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 sans the physical home button. The bezels are quite large, but aid in handling device so you don’t accidentally touch the screen.
Surprisingly, there’s an earpiece above the screen for taking calls. You know, like a phone. The 2mp front camera is situated off to the side. There are no physical or capacitive buttons as they are all onscreen.
The power/lock button and volume rocker are both on the left side of the device. They’re easy to find because they’re close to the top of the device but they’re a bit awkward when taking a screenshot. The microphone pinhole can also be found on this side, but toward the bottom.
There’s a recovery button situated inside a pinhole on the right side of the device. Because the battery is non-removable, you can’t just take out the battery and put it back in when dealing with a device that has frozen up. You can try holding down the power/lock button until the device shuts down, which sometimes works, but if it doesn’t, that’s where the recovery button comes in.
At the top of the Superion Endeavor are the 3.5mm headset jack, micro USB port, the two SIM slots, and a micro SD slot. Keep in mind that the SIM slots accept regular-sized SIMs (mini SIMs).
At the bottom are two loudspeakers.
At the back is the 8mp camera with flash toward the top, Superion Endeavor branding in the middle, and Cherry Mobile branding and NTC markings toward the bottom.
The build quality of the Superion Endeavor is quite solid. It helps that there’s no removable back cover, meaning there’s no discernible creaking when you press down on the device at various places. There’s also a silver strip that runs along the edges of the Superion Endeavor, which helps lend it some character.
The Superion Endeavor is equipped with a 7 inch WXGA IPS screen. The actual resolution is 800 x 1280, giving it a pixel density of 216ppi. The display quality is what you would expect from an IPS screen. You get great color reproduction and viewing angles.
However, the air gap is pretty thick and you can see how far the actual display is from the surface. This affects viewing angles somewhat, but not at all when viewing the screen head-on.
Also, the light leakage is pretty bad. A lot of LCD panels for mobile displays use edge illumination, and the larger the screen, the brighter the edge illumination has to be to illuminate the whole panel. This isn’t something you would usually notice unless you’re in a darker environment, but it still speaks for the quality of the display.
Under the hood isn’t your typical MediaTek or Qualcomm budget chip that Cherry Mobile has tended to rely on in the past. Instead, the Superion Endeavor utilizes a Broadcom BCM23550 1.2GHz quad core processor coupled with a Videocore IV GPU. It’s a decent chip and navigating through the UI was as smooth as I would have expected at this price point. It’s pretty capable as evidenced by these benchmarks.
Software and UI
The Superion Endeavor runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. It’s not too dated considering plenty of today’s local devices still come loaded with this version of Android. However, KitKat 4.4 has begun showing up on some devices so it’s a bit of a letdown.
Thankfully, Cherry Mobile didn’t mess with the UI too much as it’s mostly a vanilla implementation. The only noticeable changes are with the stock wallpapers and this flicker animation whenever you lock the screen or the screen goes to sleep.
Unfortunately, there’s still the typical bloatware that I’m accustomed to seeing from Cherry Mobile. I took the time to list them down:
- Cherry Fun Club
- Opera Mini
- Pinoy App Store
It isn’t too bad. The eWarranty app only needs to be used one time and doesn’t use any resources once you’re done with it. KakaoTalk and Opera Mini are pretty useful to some people. However, I’ve never seen the sense in having the Cherry Fun Club and Pinoy App Store preloaded. After all, you need the Internet to access them and since you can get all of the same benefits and more by going to the Play Store instead, they both seem to be pretty redundant.
Telephony and Wireless Connectivity
Since this is a Superion tablet we’re talking about, the Superion Endeavor comes with calling and texting abilities, as well as support for data connectivity via mobile networks. The tablet accepts regular-sized SIMs (mini SIMs) through an ejector type slot.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the tablet’s SIM-enabled features because my SIM was custom cut micro SIM that wouldn’t seem to work on the Superion Endeavor using an adapter. The best I could do was test call quality through Skype over my home WiFi connection, which was sufficiently loud whether through the earpiece, loudspeakers, or a headset.
Messaging shouldn’t be a problem either as the screen is spacious and sensitive enough for accurate typing. I’ve always thought that messaging was a much better experience on screens in the area of 5 to 7 inches because not only is it easier to type using an onscreen keyboard, but it’s also much easier to read your messages and conversations.
One of the main selling points of the Superion Endeavor is its 8mp rear-facing autofocus camera, which should be pretty remarkable considering most budget tablets only come with lower resolution fixed-focus cameras. Unfortunately, it’s only good on paper as the actual performance is quite poor. The actual sensor isn’t able to pick up that much detail and the autofocus only works well in anything but long-shots. Check out some of these sample shots.
One area where the Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor really excels is as an entertainment device. HD resolution on a 7 inch screen isn’t the sharpest you can get these days, but it’s more than sufficient for watching movies, browsing the web, or just reading ebooks. The processor and GPU are also capable enough that you can watch HD quality movies without the help of software decoding. Certainly, it also helps that it has expandable storage and USB OTG support so you can quickly access your media library on a micro SD card or flash drive.
Gaming on the Superion Endeavor proved to be as good an experience as navigating the UI. I ran a few of my favorite testing games on the tablet to see how well it performed and was quite pleased.
The first game I like to test with is Dead Trigger 2 because of its small download size and the ability to dial up the graphics settings in the options menu. On high graphics settings, the game was still surprisingly playable and the controls were still responsive with little drop in frame rates. The HD screen also allows you to appreciate the reasonably well-rendered special effects like lens flares and smoke.
The next game I decided to test with was Despicable Me: Minion Rush, a notoriously heavy game despite its relatively simplistic game play. In a game like this, responsiveness is very important as a mis-timed swipe can easily end a run in the game. Interestingly enough, there wasn’t a noticeable delay when controlling the onscreen minion and the game was still a very playable affair. It wasn’t buttery smooth, but it was a laggy experience either.
The last game I tested the Superion Endeavor on was Real Racing 3. It’s easily one of the larger games on the Play Store and one of the best-looking racing games too. Before I even started playing the game, I was already impressed because there’s an in-game cinematic that uses the game’s graphic engine to render it real time. Most low- to mid-range phones can’t handle the cinematic and it ends up being a laggy, sideshow-like mess. Not on the Superion Endeavor. The Endeavor was able to render it surprisingly well and actually gameplay performance was pretty good too.
As far as batteries go, the Superion Endeavor comes with a rather smallish one. It’s only equipped with a 2,800mAh battery, which is a disappointment because you would typically want your tablets to have at least 3,000mAh of power. Heck, there are mainstream phones with 3,000mAh capacities.
Still, while the overall battery life wasn’t that good, standby time was pretty awesome. I’d put the tablet down in the morning with 80% left in the battery and pick it back up in the evening with 75% juice left . Standby time is very important on a tablet that’s going to double as your cellphone since you don’t usually want to turn such a tablet off in case you need to receive calls or messages.
So Should You Buy the Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor?
The Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor is an affordable do-it-all tablet that doesn’t break the bank. It makes for an excellent communications, entertainment and gaming device. Navigating the UI is smooth and performs well across all aspects of usage. The only disappointments are the small on board storage and rather low battery capacity, but they’re honestly not that bad to deal with and I certainly wouldn’t complain at that price.
The Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor is easily one of the best tablets for students and young professionals. You’re getting an HD screen, decent gaming performance, and a tablet that can replace your phone for just
Php6,499 Php4,999. What’s not to like?
Cherry Mobile Superion Endeavor Specs
- 7″ HD IPS display (800 x 1280 resolution, 216ppi)
- 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM23550 quad core processor
- Broadcom Videocore IV GPU
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 1GB RAM (954MB usable)
- 4GB ROM (0.98GB system storage, 1.68GB phone storage), expandable via microSD
- 8mp rear-facing autofocus camera
- 2mp fixed-focus front camera
- WiFi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- GPS with A-GPS
- 2,800mAh battery, non-removable
- Dual SIM support